Melbourne’s solar-powered building promises a new kind of experience

Author: Darvin Tocmo  Date Posted:25 August 2016 

Melbourne will soon include a wonderfully-designed and energy efficient solar-powered building in its attractions.

Melbourne will soon include a wonderfully-designed and energy efficient solar-powered building in its attractions.     

Australia: Rising the first solar-powered skyscraper

Solar panels and rooftops aren't always the best combination when it comes to generating solar power. Sometimes, solar cells are wrapped in the property’s exteriors. This is what Melbourne residents would witness in the upcoming 60-storey solar-powered building.

Aptly called the Sol Invictus Tower, the skyscraper would be the country’s "first substantially off the grid green-energy generating residential tower," according to Raff De Luise. De Luise represents the project’s landowner, ICR Property Group.

Elegance meets sustainability

The solar-powered building will be a huge – and beautiful – addition to the growing number of properties going solar in Australia. It will have glass exteriors wrapped in solar cells, instead of the usual solar panels on rooftops. The building has curved exterior meticulously planned to follow the east to west movement of the sun.

The unique design means a greater surface area for catching the sun's rays. And interestingly, it does not only make sense in terms of energy efficiency but also creates an aura of elegance for the building.

There will be about 3000 square meters of solar panels in the facade, while an additional 300 square meters will be on the roof.

Integrating Chinese technology

Peter Brook of Peddle Thorp, the architects behind the design, admits that their desire to create a building that can go off-grid completely is quite over-ambitious. However, with China’s high-tech solar materials, it’s not impossible.

Peddle Thorp has an office in China that is already familiar with high-tech, energy efficient building plans. Sol Invictus is definitely not their most challenging project compared to what they’ve done outside Australia.

The solar-powered building will generate more than half of the base load power, but this percentage will surely increase as solar technology advances. After all, solar technology has changed a lot in the two years since they first designed the building. It makes sense to expect more advancements over the next two years prior to the construction of the tower.